The official start of summer is around the corner, which is a good reason to kick back and celebrate with a tasty tipple from a destination on our travel wish list. There might still be green lists and somewhere-in-between lists, so why not transport yourself around the globe with signature cocktails from Giudecca Island in Venice to Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Please find a selection of some of the most requested cocktails from CRC’s clients outlined below so you too can have a taste of Italy or Africa from the comfort of home.
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, Italy- Red Hot Chilli Pepper
The recently renovated Skyline Rooftop Bar at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is the highest bar in Venice with incredible panoramic views of the city and talented mixologists. Guests and locals alike will be mesmerized by incredible views of the Venice Skyline, from Canale Giudecca to Piazza San Marco, while sitting in this stylish 8th floor Venetian bar. A signature cocktail for summer is the Red Hot Chilli Pepper, created by Gabriele Cusimano, the Skyline Bar Manager.
Red Hot Chilli Pepper
Tequila Reposado 45 ml
Pineapple juice 45 ml
Fresh Lime Juice 25 ml
Agave nectar 15 ml
1 small Red Chilli Pepper
1: Blending method: Shake all ingredients together until they are thoroughly mixed followed by straining the mixture twice
2: Garnish: cover the rim of the glass with mixed salt and spicy chilli
Great Plains ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya -The Donyo Dawa
Guests at ol Donyo Lodge always ask what cocktail is recommended and a camp favourite is without a doubt The Donyo Dawa. The locally sourced honey compliments the freshly squeezed lime – creating a bittersweet marriage over the vodka.
The Dawa is a well-known refreshing beverage in Kenya from the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the depths of the Maasai Mara and interestingly means ‘medicine’ in Swahili. As the sun sets behind the looming Kilimanjaro with a breeding herd of elephants ambling past slowly, this refreshing and zesty drink is the perfect sundowner:
The Donyo Dawa
· 1 lime (large)
· 6 or 8 ice cubes (crushed)
· 2 tots of vodka
· 1 tablespoon of honey to taste (add more if you like it on the sweeter side)
· A handful of mint
1: Cut half the lime into quarters and squeeze the other half of lime into the glass.
2: Add the honey
3: Use the wooden stick (or spoon if you don’t have a Dawa stick) and crush the mint and chopped lime and mix in with the honey. This stick is often known as the magic stick as it dissolves and crushes the flavours together.
4: Crush the ice cubes and place into the glass
5: Add the vodka
6: Mix all ingredients in the glass together well with the stick.
Top it up with soda water if you wish or add more lime or honey to taste.
Hilton Lake Como, Italy – The Smoked Negroni
The popular rooftop bar at Hilton Lake Como offers panoramic views overlooking Italy’s most luxurious and iconic lake. The Smoked Negroni cocktail by the hotel’s resident mixologist and barman Vincenzo Sulmona is a must-try!
The Smoked Negroni
Vermouth Rosso: 3cl
Campari bitter: 3cl
Extras: Orange peel, dried thyme, ice
1: Mix – Pour all the ingredients into a rock glass filled with ice.
2: Stir – Stir the cocktail for 15 seconds until it’s well chilled.
3: Garnish – Garnish with a strip of orange peel.
4: Burn – Burn the slightly dried thyme, add to the glass, and cover with a glass bell
You can use any glass container that is large enough to cover the glass. For the perfect Lake Como experience, Hilton Lake Como suggests infusing the thyme into the gin for at least 36/48 hours.
Great Plains Selinda Camp, Botswana -The Tea & Tonic Mocktail
For those looking for a non-alcoholic option, Great Plains Selinda Camp Manager and mixology enthusiast Michael Jones has shared his signature mocktail: The Tea & Tonic (T&T).
The T&T takes the flavour of tea, a little bit of lemon, a little bit of lemon juice and a great tonic, combines them into a refreshing drink that wouldn’t be missed at an African Sundowner, afternoon tea, lunch, or even first thing before a morning game drive! This mocktail made with rooibos can be adapted to any tea and any good tonic. As this is a sugar syrup the lemon juice and tonic water helps to break some of the sweetness, so add as much lemon juice as you like.
The Tea & Tonic Mocktail
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Water
4 Rooibos Tea Bags
15ml Fresh Lemon (or to taste)
1x 275ml Barker & Quin Indian Tonic
Tumbler/ shallow jam jar
1: Combine brown sugar and water to a saucepan, boil, and ensure the sugar has dissolved. Add the tea bags and slightly reduce.
2: Remove from the heat and allow to sit for an hour or two, the longer it’s left the more concentrated the flavour. This makes about half a cup of syrup.
3: Take 45ml of your rooibos syrup and add to a tumbler (or, as in the photo, use a shallow jam jar). Add the lemon juice, top off with ice and pour the tonic over the ice.
4: Garnish with a slice of lemon peel and stir to combine.